2003 DC restore using acronis true image with universal restore
I am trying to build an example worst case scenario where if we had a fire in the server room at our school I could build back the network by one DC which didnt have the FMSO roles assigned to it. Can this be done?
I am currently testing some software called Acronis True image echo server with universal restore and I have backed up the boot volume of one of our domain controllers and restored this server into a test VM using Vmware workstation.
The DC that I have taken a backup of is one of 3 DC's in our school but this DC is a server which doesnt have any FSMO roles assigned to it such as PDC emulator and infrastructure master. Those roles are currently managed by another DC which is our original DC when AD which built from new.
Once I restored this DC as a VM machine, for the most part it seems to have successfully restored. It booted into the server I was able to login and so far I have not had any BSOD errors.
Once I checked the AD information i found all the users and machines from the school were restored but when I looked at the FSMO roles it had an error message which would be obvious as this server wasnt assigned any of these roles.
What I want to test is if its a simple case of giving this standalone DC these FMSO roles through this virtual test environment or do I still need to add the original FMSO DC into this test environment as well for it to be happy and begin replication?
I would rather not do that because as part of the testing I want to see if its possible to bring a whole network backup with a DC that wasn't the first DC in the forest. I am trying to create the scenario if the primary DC had a unrecoverable catastrophic failure, how would the rest of the network react once the FMSO roles are not assigned to a server.
I have looked at some information about this such as:
Using Ntdsutil.exe to transfer or seize FSMO roles to a domain controller
How to remove data in Active Directory after an unsuccessful domain controller demotion -
What I want to ask do these solutions only work if the DC which had these roles is still alive? what happens if this server had a serious hard drive corruption and I couldn't boot from it at all, would i still be able to seize the role? because what I am reading to seize the role you still need to be able to boot into the DC which had these roles in the first place.
I know I am trying to predict something which probably would never happen but am keen to see the results and see if its possible for me to bring a network back to useable state with a part working DC. My intention is to add another DC into this virtual team which will be based on server 2008 once, transfer all AD info to this new 2008 box and demote the old 2003 DC.
Just for the record all the DC's we have at the moment are all RAID 5/1 backed so serious hard drive corruption should hopefully never happen!
If anyone thinks I should test DR in a better way, please feel free to comment, like i said before this is me just playing around and understanding how it all works but if fellow edugeekers think I am doing this in a real long winded way then please make suggestions.
Finally Acronis true image software is excellent, been really impressed with it so far. Its very easy to use...